Monday, November 19, 2012

The Master of Multitasking!

I take pride in my ability to multitask. At home I can do laundry, clean the house, cook dinner, play on Facebook, text my friends, take care of the dog, and much more all at once. I watch TV and talk on the phone while writing an email. At work it gets even crazier and there are even times when I run an Inn, a coffee shop, and my own household all at the same time. At the Inn, I take care of as many as 20 guests and three dogs plus day to day running of the business. At home I tend to my husband and dog plus the usual household duties. At the coffee shop I manage employees and customers (ha ha!) as well as the business. When doing all three jobs at once I become the queen of multitasking and handle all of it with ease. Well, mostly with ease.

Then comes the business of living in the present moment. One of the reasons I love yoga so well is that for the entire time I'm practicing I'm not thinking about anything other than what I'm doing right then and there. Same is true for any type of meditation, actually. When I'm out with Sushi playing ball, I'm right there with her, or when I'm kayaking or riding my bike, or gardening. My thoughts wander sometimes, of course, but mostly I'm soaking in what I'm doing right at that moment.

It never occurred to me that these things were related until I read a Facebook post recently by Augusten Burroughs. I love Augusten. I appreciate his wisdom and adore his wicked sense of humor. He wrote about his catastrophic thoughts and how those thoughts take him out of the present moment. By catastrophic thoughts he means that one little thing will send him into a forward spiral of doom. The loose towel bar in his bathroom ended up in a courtroom suing the contractor who did the installation because the bar fell on Augsten's dog, the dog died, and the contractor was at fault and had to be sued. This did not happen, of course, but that is where these catastrophic thoughts take him. He then reflected how the thoughts take him out of the present moment.

This got me thinking...I know, I know, dangerous, right? So here goes. When I'm a my multitasking best, running, doing, achieving...I'm completely out of the present moment. I'm thinking about what I need to do next, or what I have on my agenda tomorrow rather than focusing on the task at hand.The beauty and wonder of every moment is lost because I'm thinking about what's next. You may ask why that matters or really who cares and all I can say is that it does.  I can't tell you how many times I think, "Wow, that day just flew past!" Or "Where did that week go?" Time flies, yes, but I prefer to be more aware of its passing by taking note of the moments. 

When your actions and your thoughts are in the same room at the same time doing the exact same thing, you're 'living in the moment.'
BOING! That's why when I'm doing yoga, or playing with Sushi, or gardening I'm in the present moment and time becomes irrelevant. I live in a really beautiful place and am often snapped back into the moment by the vignettes that I regularly witness. A 20 minute drive to the nearest town sometimes takes a second because of the beauty surrounding me. That's living in the moment. 
I just read an article that stated that the one activity during which people tend to remain focused is sex. That's comforting! The subject of sex calls to mind my theory of multitasking and men. They are not very good at it. Men cannot multitask well at all, in fact!  Their tendency to focus on one thing at a time drives me crazy! I used to think it was an evolutionary defect but now I have to admit that maybe they are on to something. Those bastards are masters of living in the present moment! Crap. I hate admitting I could be wrong about them.
Winter morning, Rock Hall

Summer sunflowers

Jamaican beach

One of the marinas in Rock Hall
Some photos of the present moment.